Govt to create more awareness on 'forgotten baby syndrome', says Noraini

KUALA LUMPUR: The government takes a whole-of-society approach rather than imposing heavier punishments to address 'forgotten baby syndrome', says Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad.

The Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister said that everyone, especially parents, needed to play their roles to avoid more cases of babies accidentally left in vehicles from happening.

"I would like to inform the public that the ministry is taking the awareness approach (as opposed to heavier punishments).

"It is our collective responsibility to keep reminding each other about the situation," she said, responding to a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Ismail Muttalib (PN-Maran).

Ismail had asked the minister whether the ministry would consider making the laws stricter to avoid parents' negligence.

Noraini said the Welfare Department had introduced a guideline on children’s safety in kindergarten.

"I would also like to remind you that child neglect is an offence under Section 31 (1) (a) of the Child Act 2001.

"If convicted the accused can be fined with a maximum amount of RM50,000 or 20 years jail or both.

"However, the ministry has also launched several campaigns to increase the awareness of parents and we will continue to do so," she added.

Noraini also said that based on the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research’s (Miros) study, among the factors that contributed to the "syndrome" include mental fatigue and rapid change of daily routine.

"I was informed that Miros has also developed a prototype of an alert system called MyCinta to track and alert children in vehicles.

"This is some of the effort that we are looking into, however, it needs cooperation from different ministries and government agencies as well as private organisations," she added.

Noraini added that based on the police data, there were a total of 14 cases of children left in vehicles since 2020.

To date, there have been four cases while there were a total of five cases in 2023.

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